Sunday, April 20, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, while Marlene was visiting, I ordered a pair of reading glasses from a little store in Jamestown. I got the call this week...your glasses are in. Hmmmmm... the perfect excuse for a Triumph ride! Saturday was nice and sunny, but cool. No matter...we have heat in the little TR6 so we're good to go. We packed a lunch, a thermos of coffee, and made plans to splurge on a Frosty when we got there. As we headed east, Les said, shall we take a different way? Sure, why not! So, farther east we went on Claribel Rd. than we had ever been before....in fact, it turned to dirt. The view was spectacular. We had the trusted DeLorme along so we were in fine shape except for the fact we were on a dirt road in a convertible. After a few jogs here and there with intermitant pavement, we found hwy. 108 back again. With Les, you're not on a road trip unless you drive on dirt somewhere! So, with our dirt road quota filled for the day, we headed into Jamestown. First stop, the Harley Dealership, of course. Then on to the old downtown and "Le Petite Maison" where my glasses awaited purchase. With purchase complete, we meandered thru some of the antique shops. The last shop we entered was my kinda place! Lots of individual "booths" and great prices. As I walked thru, I spotted the most adorable little wicker rocking chair. As I was thoroughly examining it, Les walked in. Every Oma and Grandpa should have a little chair for the little ones who visit.... don't you think? We'll paint it red to match the wicker setee! Yes! We negotiated a deal with the shop owner and then suddenly looked at each other...uh oh...we're in the Triumph today! Will it fit in the back seat? Oh, it's such a beautiful day and we'd have to put the top up for that.... Maybe it'll go on the luggage rack? Les, who should have been an Eagle Scout, and is ALWAYS prepared, said the magic words...we have rubber snubbers. Out the shop we went with adorable chair in hand. Now at the TR6, which is parked on the main street, we became the entertainment for any and all passing by. One little white chair and one little red car equals hilarity! We tried this way and that way, upside down, sideways and other ways. Nope...the only way was upright on the luggage rack. Have you ever seen National Lampoon's movie "Vacation"? Picture that. Off we went with a smile on our faces...we did it. The little chair was coming home with us. When we rolled into the lot to get our frosty...we heard exclaimations of hey look..."it's the Beverly Hillbillies..2008 version". We still had to go farther up the hill to the Twain Harte Pharmacy. As we hit the highway, we worried about our little chair in the wind. Would it make it with just rubber snubbers?? We know someone who lost a chair out the back of their vehicle and that was sad...*wink*. I told Les not to worry, the pharmacy would have rope. Rope in a pharmacy he asked? Yep...this place is AWESOME...you'll see. Sure enough, we got our rope and the fabric I was searching for (yes, fabric in a pharmacy too) and headed out to check on our little chair atop the car. There were a couple of people standin' around and some cute comments were made...and then the guy parked next to us says, " can I take a picture?". Sure, we reply......then he says, "with my daughter in the chair". Uh...how much does she weigh? "She's little...only 2yrs. old". Ummm...OK. I kid you not, and as you see I have the picture to prove it! I think we'll be talking about this little jaunt for many years to come.....every time I look at that adorable wicker chair, I have to smile. I'm looking forward to seeing our own little ones sitting in that chair and making new memories but I'll always remember the day we bought it and how it looked on the back of our little red car :)
Every year around this time the home puts on an event called the "Hat Parade". I got to participate with Grandma this year. First they gather all the residents in the far dining/activity hall. Everyone has on their hats and wheels, anxiously anticipating an outing in the fresh air and sunshine. Most have family members who have shown up for the event, ready to push the wheelchairs for a couple of blocks. Some of the "pushers" have brought their own hats...like me. Of course, there are hats of every kind imaginable. The retired fire captian has on his white with a black brim dress hat, the farmer his straw hat, and one lady has a hat festooned with fresh flowers from her daughter's garden. As for Grandma and me, she's wearing the pink petal hat she wore in one of her children's weddings as mother of the bride or groom. I don't know who's. I am wearing the hat I made for the GEMS Mother/Daughter tea last year. After the activity director announces the route we would be taking, the parade is headed out the door. God provided a wonderfully warm and shiny afternoon for the parade...it couldn't have gotten any better. Out the door and into the sunshine the parade rolled past the apartments and then down the street. Oohs and Ahs were heard when we passed someone's yard who had particularly pretty and fragrant roses. Someone would say, "why I used to have roses like that". Around the block we wound, with a stop in front of a scotch broom bush in full bloom for the perfect photo op. and back into the home. The parade was over all too quickly for some, and not soon enough for others. Grandma was so happy to feel the sun on her face and smell the flowers. For me, it was another reminder that every moment spent with loved ones is precious and the little things in life sometimes mean the most to us. It's really true.... don't forget to take time to stop and smell the roses.
For those of you who don't know what I was talking about when I mentioned balkabri in the previous post....Balkabri is a cooked mixture of ground meat,oatmeal, graham flour, corn meal, and various other grain flours and meals along with spices like clove and nutmeg. It looks like meaty oatmeal and while warm is spread in loaf pans or a 9x13, covered and refridgerated. When it's cooled it is a firm solid brick of balkabri. Grandma would slice this firm balkabri into thin pieces and fry till crisp. While they were hot and sizzling on our plate we would then pour karo syrup over top....kinda like fat and stroop. Yum yum. Now...for those of you who will ask what is fat and stroop? It's leftover bacon fat heated till nearly smoking and poured over toast on your plate followed by a generous amount of once again...karo syrup, or if you prefer, maple syrup...our family favorite! Let's not get into the artery clogging factor...
Thursday, April 17, 2008
We had some excitement here on Monday afternoon. After high temperatures on Sunday...97 degrees....we thankfully experienced what are called the "Delta breezes" on Monday. The breezes blew and then gusted all day long. Around noon our old Chinese Elm said enough, and half the tree came down. It crashed across our kennel which now bears a definite "U" shape on the east corner. So sad. That tree was even bigger when I was a kid growing up. It was the shade for the resident "shade tree mechanic" who had worked in that shade just two days before. It was the place where the kids had their tree house and spent many hours playing and reading books, spying on those beneath them, from their lofty perch. Lawn chairs were hauled up there along with drinks and snacks hoisted by rope from far below :) Coming before those memories are many more of family life here on the farm. My Dad used to park the old McCormick tractor there...it didn't have rubber tires, but steel ones with blades welded diagonally to them for traction. The limb that came down is the very same that beef was hung from for butchering. Along with those butchering memories comes memories of the kitchen table with the family gathered 'round enjoying fresh liver and onions, tongue for sandwich meat, and our favorite....balkabri. Mmmmmm...I can see my Mom frying it up crisp and tasty, smell the aroma, and nearly taste it on my plate with karo syrup on top. Yum. Half of our dear old tree remains and we hope survives any further winds that come along. So it will stay...no trimming for now and we will continue to appreciate half as much shade.